‘Diary of Anne Frank’ holds timeless message

Preserving your humanity in the face of inhumanity.

Anne Frank has been the poster girl for that daunting challenge ever since the 1947 publication of “The Diary of a Young Girl” – which she kept from 1942 to 1944, when the Frank family spent two years in hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

The theatrical adaptation, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” has been a stage staple since its 1955 debut.

But the Jewish Repertory Theatre of Nevada’s production – which launches its “Sundays at the Smith” series at 2 and 5 p.m. – underlines the story’s universality and its timelessness. To say nothing of its relevance.

The Jewish REpertory Theatre previously presented “The Diary of Anne Frank” in January as part of its “ELEVATE: Youth Education through the Performing Arts” community outreach program, bringing it to 1,600 students at four Clark County School District campuses.

The play confines audiences to a hidden attic annex in 1942 Amsterdam, where two Jewish families – including the teenage Anne (played by Rebecca Reyes) – take refuge from Nazi persecution.

And the students who saw it in January were “absolutely spellbound” by Anne Frank’s experiences, notes theater co-founder Norma Morrow.

Although “it’s not part of (their) world, it’s not rap music, it’s not a concert,” Morrow adds, “on so many levels, it’s something young people can relate to.”

When “you read in the newspapers about children bullying” classmates, one example of contemporary “hate and bigotry,” the play shows “what happens to society if it’s left unchallenged,” adds co-founder Charlene Sher, who portrays Anne’s mother, Edith. (Morrow plays Mrs. Van Daan , part of the other family taking refuge in the attic alongside the Franks.)

The fact that a young teen wrote such an insightful diary, demonstrating “quite amazing depth of human understanding,” adds to the story’s impact, Sher comments.

And Sunday’s production offers a more balanced view of Anne’s experiences than Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett’s Pulitzer Prize-winning original did, Morrow and Sher explain.

Anne Frank’s father, Otto (played by Douglas Baker), the family’s sole survivor after Nazis apprehended the family in 1944, influenced Goodrich and Hackett’s initial dramatization by downplaying certain aspects of the story – including Anne’s conflicts with her mother.

Sunday’s performances feature Wendy Kesselman’s revised adaptation, the “definitive edition,” which presents “more of Anne’s adolescence,” Morrow explains – and addresses it with greater candor.

“It wasn’t correct to display that kind of information” when the play debuted in the 1950s, she points out. These days, however, “our world has become more tolerant” of greater emotional honesty, in Morrow’s view.

Ann-Marie Kaufman directs Sunday’s performances. (The 5 p.m. show will include signing for the hearing-impaired.)

Rounding out the cast: Tyler Hastings as teenage Peter Van Daan, with whom Anne shares her first kiss; David Sankeur as Peter’s father; Cynthia Vodovoz as Anne’s sister Margot ; Troy Tinker as the dentist Mr. Dussell, another attic resident; and Anastasia Vance as Miep Gies , the family friend who helped hide the Franks from the Nazis. (Gies retrieved Anne’s diary after the Franks were arrested, keeping it safe until Otto Frank returned from Auschwitz and learned of his daughter’s death, from typhus, in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.)

In presenting “The Diary of Anne Frank,” the theater group reflects “what’s happening on Broadway” currently, Morrow says, noting revivals of “really good plays” that have “deep meaning and make people think.”

The same goes for “The Diary of Anne Frank,” she says. After Sunday’s performances, “we hope everyone walks out thinking.”

Contact reporter Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Jason Aldean talks about the possibility of a Las Vegas residency
Country superstar Jason Aldean discusses his feelings about playing in Las Vegas and says he'd be interested in a Las Vegas residency when the time is right at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas on September 21, 2018.(John Katsilometes/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US
Block 16 Urban Food Hall Serves Favorite Foods From Across The US (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment
Benny the Skating Dog could be the next Golden Knights on-ice entertainment (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who To Watch At Life Is Beautiful
Life Is Beautiful Setup
Workers preparing Fremont street for this weekend's Life is Beautiful festival, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The 46th annual Greek Food Festival will feed 25,000 people in Las Vegas
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip
Madame Tussauds Has The Newest VR Experience On The Strip. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zia Records Move
Zias Records is moving from its Sahara Avenue and Arville Street location to a bigger store. (Mat Luscheck/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies
Students At The International Contortion Convention In Las Vegas Learn How To Bend And Twist Their Bodies. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Video from Fertitta wedding Sep. 1
video from @wedstagrams of Fertitta wedding at Red Rock Resort
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas
You Can Get Vegan Unicorn Toast In Downtown Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Five must-see bands at Psycho Las Vegas 2018
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch
Zuma's Ice Cube Carving Is Satisfying To Watch (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores
Therapy In Downtown Las Vegas Serves Cast Iron S'mores. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes
New Brunch Spot The Stove Makes Unicorn Hot Chocolate And Bananas Foster Pancakes. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup
The Octopus On The Las Vegas Strip Predicted The Winner Of The World Cup. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-journal)
TLC by the Numbers
Watch Ruthless! at Las Vegas Little Theatre
The musical Ruthless! will be playing at Las Vegas Little Theatre from July 13-29. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
How to feel like a kid again in Las Vegas
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall
People Lined Up For Over 5 Hours For Build-a-bear's "Pay Your Age" Promotion At Galleria Mall. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cadaver art and sword swallowing at The Dark Arts Market
Curator Erin Emrie talks about her inspiration for The Dark Arts Market at Cornish Pasty Co. in Las Vegas Tuesday, July 10, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas
Over 40,000 People Attend The 4th Of July Parade In Summerlin In Las Vegas. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Tourists and locals enjoy Independence Day fireworks at Caesars Palace
Hundreds of tourists and locals gaze at the Independence Day fireworks show at Caesars Palace on Saturday, June 30, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
5 must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
Five must-see bands at Warped Tour 2018
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like